Ed Rife (or at least someone posing as Ed which would be another eBay violation) under the eBay seller name finelineinkusa2010 recently auctioned off the rings from the Ohio State Scandal. As near as I could find, Ed is still completing his 3 year prison sentence.
I was curious and exchanged ½ a dozen eBay messages. Almost immediately shenanigans commenced.
not.sure of the sizes I will have to have that checked. make me a offer on what one you want. I will tell you that they are not even going close to what I want for them but I am willing to end it and sell them for the rite offer. thanks
Ed was never able to provide the sizes. I guess it is tough to stop by a jeweler on your commute from your cell to the prison laundry room. Maybe he should have looked for a jeweler in cell block B willing to trade his services for a cool prison tat.
Ed finds eBay's rules as cumbersome as those pesky federal drug trafficking, money laundering, forgery, and assault laws because he offered to end the sale and sell outside eBay. Obviously eBay frowns on this.
well what rings are you intereseed in? and what are you offering for them? I so still have some things left like some game worn pants signed and gloves, cleats, _________ freshman game wore outfit and ________ 2002 regular season game wore helmet signed an some miscellaneous other things. I have sold alot of the stuff already
Sorry Ed, but a haggler knows to force the seller to set his starting price 1st.
...and yes, I am removing most players names. Bite me haters.
I can only list 5000 dollars worth of stuff at a time
$5,000 at a time? Interesting that Ed has already sold most items from his corner office (between the toilet and sink) in unit 104 of cell block C, but this eBay account only has the rings. I think Ed likely has many, many eBay accounts.
Sorry I haven't had a chance to have them sized yet I have been working late every day there is still 5 days left I will have the sizes on there before they end . Again I'm sorry I haven't got to that yet ... I will tell you I will be ending them if they don't go up in price I would never sell them that cheep
Ed is not a happy
camper inmate. Why mess with that eBay reserve price when you can recruit offers outside eBay and if they don't come thru, you can just yank the auction in the closing hours.
I love how Ed advertises they are being sold by Ed Rife, but here claims his long "Work" shift is keeping him from getting the ring sizes.
Lets see... 3 years x 365 days/year x 24 hours/day comes out to a 26,280 hour work shift - makes me feel wimpy complaining about the 12 hour north slope workdays. I guess I would have trouble finding time to stop by the jewelry store with those "Work" hours.
I am not certain about the legalities if Ed is in prison but presenting himself as a free man in correspondence.
That's fine that are coming down today I have a lot in these rings and would never sell them they cheep . Thank you for looking
People just won't cut felons behind bars any slack. At this point it is about a day before the auctions end and Ed has gotten few offers, all below what he paid the athletes.
I will take the job today after work and have them sized . I really don't have a set price in the rings but I can tell you I paid a lot more for them then some of the ring are selling for . I did pay $10,000 for the championship ring off of eBay in 2007 the other rings I paid from $3500-$5000 from the players not to mention the $50,000 I had to pay the feeds to get the rings back from them . I figured with them being tied and really the main reason to the scandal they would sell for a lot more being the history that the have . They are one of a kind rings an will always be a part of Ohio state history ( good or bad ) if they don't bring what I think is fair I will just keep them . So if you would like make me a offer the worst that could happen is I say no thanks for asking the questions
I wondered if the buyer realizes what the reaction from other Bucknuts will be when he shows them his Pryor ring? I don't think the 1st reaction will be "I'm impressed" or even 'That's cool."
Is there anyone who might be interested in the rings that isn't aware Ed is in prison? You're not kidding anyone Ed - you're so distraught at this point in the auction you would trade a ring for 9 cartons of Marlboros and a 1988 Playboy that wasn't edited by the guards.
Ed is still looking to avoid those pesky eBay fees - for crying out loud, he paid eBay $4.95 to get these listed - that should be enough.
...and there is the DOJ Report which includes the rings and the prices. Ed didn't pay $10,000 for the 2002 ring, Ed paid $7,000. Ed didn't pay $3,500-$5,000 for the players' 2008 rings, Ed paid $1,000 to $1,500 each. Providing false information about an auction item is against eBay rules, and is probably illegal.
Ed did finally price his rings here... keep this in mind for later section.
$10K for the 2002 (a fair market price)
$3,500 for the 2008 (lolwut? No Ed - try $2,000-$2,500 each).
I will say 3 nice things about Ed:
1. Ed paid the players what they would have gotten from a sports memorabilia retailer. He didn't screw the players.
2. Ed kept the players' names secret until he got raided. Sports memorabilia dealers will promise the player secrecy, then give the names out (or enough to derive who the player is) if you can show you are a serious bidder. Again, Ed didn't screw the players.
3. Ed wisely spread out the auctions to end about an hour apart. He built momentum and kept it going from 1 sale to the next. Any veteran auctioneer would be impressed.
The 1st 2008 Ring auction didn't end well - it was a lesser known player, I am not even certain it violated NCAA rules. Ed pulled the auction.
Then things picked up. Bids came flowing in.
The 2002 ring went for $11,500
The 2nd 2008 ring sold for $3,850 (there were other 2008 rings on eBay at the time listed for $2,800)
The 3rd 2008 ring sold for $3,850 (same price - what a coincidence!)
Pryor's 2008 ring sold for $18,100 (Wooooooo!)
The 5th 2008 ring sold for $3,250, below Ed's minimum target price above.
Wow! Ed went from pulling the items from sale to an over the top bidding war among many buyers...
...or did he?
There's a limited number of auction bidding stradegies. This type of auction is typically won by sniping, where you wait until the auction is nearly over, then place your bid before others have a chance to rethink increasing their offer.
...but Ed's auctions didn't have sniping. In fact, just a couple of bidders entered automatic bids that were well above the current price, just a few bidders won everything, and if I recall at 1 point 1 bidder was winning 3 of the 2008 rings. Apparently they couldn't make time to find a PC just a few hours before spending over $18,000 for a ring and had to place their bids days early.
I smelled shenanigans... but I wasn't confident enough to call shenanigans until this weekend.
The 5th ring that sold for $3,250 a few weeks ago *the only ring below Ed's targeted price) is now listed on eBay for $2,295 Buy-It-Now or Make-Offer. I understand buyer's remorse (evidenced by my wardrobe) but relisting as Buy-It-Now for a $1,000 less just a month later... that's a bit much.
I think the same person (Ed?) won more than one of the 2008 rings. This is strange. Few would buy more than 1 unless they were trying to collect all of them. The sale ending times were spread out - if someone just wanted 1 ring, they could have waited for the results of the earlier sale before bidding on subsequent sales. Yet, here it is on eBay just a few weeks later, being sold for a substantial loss.
While I don't have access to the information to prove it, my best guess (which could very well be wrong):
1. It is unlikely nobody bid on the 1st ring since the other 2008 rings sold for 150% the current market value. It wasn't relisted. Ed found a buyer outside eBay.
2. As soon as a bid was placed on the other rings, Ed placed his own over the top bids to increment automatically to the upper end of what he wanted (this is an automatic eBay function).
3. Ed may have very well won every bid with duplicate accounts (though the higher bids may have exceeded Ed's bids and have been genuine).
4. Ed reported the bids he won with his own accounts as having not been paid for by the buyer. From recollection, they did not have a buying history.
5. Ed used the eBay 2nd chance offer utility as needed to sell the rings to the highest bidder not currently residing in cell block C.
6A. The highest non-Ed bidder on the 5th 2008 ring decided not to buy it, or
6B. the highest bidder on the 5th ring got an earlier ring on Ed's 2nd chance offer and only wanted 1, or
6C. Ed didn't get a decent bid on the 5th ring and bought it himself, then told eBay the bidder didn't pay.
Note - The 5th ring is the only one that sold for less than Ed's $3,500 low estimate above.
7. Ed is relisting this ring now - no sweat. The plan was 5/6 successful and landed Ed a load of cash, best to finish the scam and close down the account as soon as possible.
I would report this to eBay since we are well past asking "If" any rules were broken and have moved on to "How many?" but eBay's reporting system is a mess by design. eBay won't allow you to simply send an e-mail to report fraud, etc. Instead you have to follow pages of links, and when you reach the end, you can check boxes, but can't provide any details. They also have a reputation of not responding (based on their community section comments).
Ed may have broken a few laws here. I know nothing about auction laws. I do not know what state eBay is in to look for their auction laws. I suspect misrepresenting himself as a free man is illegal, or at least against prison rules. I suspect misrepresenting what he paid for the rings is illegal regardless of how they are sold.